Karim Khan's Visit to Meguiars Corporate Head Quarters Irvine California 2014Karim Khan at the Meguiars Corporate Head Quarters
More than 25 years now, I’ve been using Meguiars products, i started off with the protection of my collection of 1:64 scale die cast toy cars and it’s now grown to automobile, boats and helicopters. Over time Meguiars products have become a staple in my detailing arsenal. Almost all the vehicles I have worked on have had some type of Meguiar’s product used on them.History of Meguiars
Meguiar’s was founded by Frank Meguair’s Jr who started the business with a furniture polish in 1901. Nearly 100 years later, Meguiars have become one of the world’s leading automotive surface care product companies, providing specialized products for almost every conceivable type of automotive surface.
Frank Meguiars Jr started off manufacturing his furniture polish, one bottle at a time at home with his kids, each night filling orders generated the next day to pay for groceries. From his first bottle Frank Meguiar, Jr. was steadfastly determined never to sell a product unless he was convinced it was the very best of its kind on the market. To this day, Meguiar’s follows that dictate and, as a result, has generated millions of enthusiastic users around the world. Meguiar’s describe their customers as “raving fans".
With the arrival of the first horseless carriages Frank Meguiar’s turned his attention to the first automobile. Made out of wood, they were initially coated with the same finishes that were applied to furniture. It was an easy transition that set the course for Meguiar’s pre-eminence in the car wax business today.
Throughout the early years, Meguiars Mirror Glaze polishes and waxes, were primarily used by car manufacturers, car dealers, body shops, and detailers. Most custom painters polished their customer’s automobiles with Meguiars products, so the majority of cars on display in car shows reflected finishes achieved with the use of Meguiars professional-line products. As car shows became prevalent in the 60’s, the masses of people attending them began to recognize that it was the use of Meguiars polishes that created the brilliant, high-gloss finishes. Consumers began demanding retailers to stock Meguiars Mirror Glaze products.
Compelled by the demands, the Meguiars family formally introduced its brand of consumer automotive products in 1973. Today, the Meguiars range of products saturate the consumer marketplace and Meguiar’s emphasize on new product development and training.For a more detailed history of Meguiars please visit http://www.meguiars-online.co.uk/meguiars-history/.Meguiars’s SEMA
My first official interaction with Meguiars was in 2013 at the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show where I attended Meguiars International Technical Training Seminars which was facilitated by Mr Jason Rose Meguair’s Global Technical Services and Training Manager for the Professional Auto and Marine Products. At this seminar the specially invited participants were guided on how to conduct Meguair’s Training events to teach users on how to effectively and efficiently use the Meguair’s products. It was here that Jason informed me about the Meguiars iNtence eXtreme Training (NXT) , a high energy intense session about hand sanding and polishing automotive paint work, which host top detailers. Jason RoseKarim Khan and Jason Rose at SEMA 2013
At the SEMA show i also had the priviledge of meeting Mr. Barry Meguiar, whom in my opinion was a very humble individual with a wide knowledge of the automobile industry. He was inquisitive of Trinidad and Tobago and our car show industry and i extended the invitation to visit.Karim Khan with Barry Meguirs at SEMA 2013Tour of Meguiars headquartersMeguiars Head Quarters
On my return to Trinidad, i kept in contact with Mr. Rose on a regular basis, which is how i was informed of the NXT training in California at Meguiar head quarters. I set about making arrangement for my visit and was delightfully informed that Meguiar Trinidad would be sponsoring part of this training for me in an attempt to enhance my knowledge of the further use of their products and learn new techniques in the detailing industry.
The day before the training i met Mr. Andrew Wilson, Meguiar’s Latin American and Caribbean Representative at the Meguiar headquarters in California. He then proceeded to give me a tour of the building. The first stop was the reception area which was filled with vintage automobile memorabilia.Meguiars Reception area
I was then taken to Mr. Barry Meguiar office which housed some very interesting collectibles. Karim Khan in Barry Meguairs Office Some of the first Meguiars products Some of the first Meguiars Mirror Bright Polishes
The conference room is the home of a very special table, the table top is supported by two engines, 500 HP Ford Focus and 500 HP Camaro surrounded by Sparco racing seats. Meguairs conference room 500HP Ford Focus Engine that did a Quater mile in 8.51 seconds. The engine was donated to Meguiars by Nu Formz 1998 LS1 Engine 500HP form the 1969 Camaro RS that was featured on the cover of Hot Rod Magazine September 2002
We then headed to customer care representatives, inbound and outbound logistics, quality control and international sales representatives whom were very much welcoming and friendly. Customer service guys and their gaming chair
One of the offices that really stood out to me was that of the Manager of Logistics, apart from being a very nice guy he also had a memorabilia from Trinidad and Tobago, our very own steel pan.Manager of Logistics (on left) with his collection of stuff from all around the world and his piece of TnT in his office , the steel pan
The second building which is rarely seen by visitors housed new product development, lab, retail show room, graphics department and multimedia editing for car crazy which i also got a tour off. Meguairs second building NXT Training
On the day of the training, i was very excited hence i was one of the first detailers to arrive. Karim Khan arriving at the NXT Training
It was a group of 20 professional detailers from throughout the world including United States, Canada, Trinidad, Australia. Participants at the NXT Training (photo taken from Meguairsonline.com
We started off by introducing ourselves and the instructors for the day, Mr Kevin Brown, Mr, Mike Stoops, Mr Jose Fernandez and Mr Jason Rose began informing us about the schedule ahead.Kevin Brown top left, Jose Fernandez bottom left and Jason Rose bottom right
The training covered the practical and theoretical approach to the following:
• Abrasive behaviour, buffing cycle and paint residue management
• Sanding – hand sanding, DA sanding
• Variables of machine polishing
• Rotary polishing
• Dual action polishing
• Product Testing to name a few.Top - Top left to right Mike Stoops , Karim Khan and Jason Rose. Bottom left Jose Fernandez Bottom right Larry Kosilla from Ammo NYC.
Overall the class was very informative; the instructors were very helpful. I learnt to tweek my techniques to give a better finish and I came home with knowledge of new skills and how to use their new products accurately. I meet alot of detailers with the same passion as i do and hence we shared our knowledge of the industry, use of products and techniques. Most of all i fulfilled a dream of visiting the Meguiars headquarters, trained with some of the top detailers in the industry and made some lifetime friends.Kairm Khan collecting his Certificate from Jason Rose(top) and Kevin Brown (bottom)